Clay Smith and Julie Wernersbach

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This week we’re talking books with Clay Smith, Editor in Chief of Kirkus Reviews and Julie Wernersbach, Literary Director of the Texas Book Festival.

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 Clay Smith is the Editor in Chief of Kirkus Reviews.  He currently sits on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle and is the literary director of the San Antonio Book Festival. He is also the former literary director of the Texas Book Festival.

Clay began his journalism career as Senior Editor covering books at the Austin Chronicle, followed by a journalism fellowship at the Dallas Observer. Clay holds a degree from the New York University Cultural Reporting and Criticism graduate program where he earned the prestigious Edwin Diamond Award.  His articles have appeared in publications including Newsday, Aether Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Daily Beast,, Austin Way and Elle Décor. He has done work for the Sundance Film Festival.

Clay hails from Amarillo, Texas and lives in Austin.

For more information, please see Kirkus Reviews. You can stay up with Clay on Twitter.

Julie Wernersbach serves as the Literary Director of the Texas Book Festival, responsible for developing and implementing year-round literary programming in Austin and other Texas cities, including the annual two-day Festival in Austin.

Julie has ten years of experience as an independent bookseller, most recently serving as marketing director for BookPeople, the largest independent bookstore in Texas and one of the most high profile independent bookstores in the country. Before moving to Austin in 2011, Julie served as publicist and events coordinator for Book Revue, a large independent bookstore on Long Island.

Julie holds a B. A. in English from Boston University. In addition to acting as TBF’s literary director, Julie is the author of the books Vegan Survival Guide to Austin and The Swimming Holes of Texas. Her fiction has been published in Arcadia magazine, which nominated her short story, ‘Happiness,’ for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently at work on a novel. Julie loves books of all stripes and is particularly drawn to short and literary fiction.

For more information, please see Texas Book Festival. 

You can follow Julie on Twitter @JulieWbach. You can keep up with the festival on Twitter at @Texasbookfest, Facebook  and Instagram.